By Aru Kaul
In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month, which focused on the theme “Women Making History Now.” This year is about acknowledging and honouring the lasting impact created by Canadian women. From ethically sourced candles to cultural embroidery, here are women entrepreneurs from Ryerson who are making a difference in the world of art and lifestyle.
Saarah Furmli, a fourth-year social work student, owns a business called Mursal Embroiders where she makes embroidery that is inspired by her own and other people’s cultures.
Furmli says she has always loved sewing and crocheting and wanted to make good use of all of the leftover fabric she had, rather than throwing it out. She began by making a denim purse for her friend, which eventually led to her watching Youtube videos on how to do embroidery.
She says her cultural identity influenced the name of her business; “mursal” is the Dari word for rose. As her business grew, she wanted to implement more cultures into her designs and began collaborating with her clients. As a result, she began to create cultural designs, starting with her friend’s Bengali background.
“Before I embroidered my friend’s name, I had never seen Bengali letters. It is probably one of the most beautiful languages I have ever seen written,” Furmli said.
She has also found ways to incorporate her embroidered designs in her assignments, using them for social work education.
Sweets and Treats TO
Khushi Shah, a second-year politics and governance student, and Saakshi Padhiar, a fourth-year computer science student, co-run Sweets and Treats TO, a pick up delivery service that sells minimalistic cakes, cakesicles and cupcakes.
Shah manages the social content and branding while Padhiar manages the pick up and delivery system.
While Padhiar and Shah aim to create desserts inspired by minimalism, they hope to one day incorporate designs from their culture.
Shah said the brand has created a sense of community, trust, home and creativity that ensures people love their products for their celebrations.
“For the future, we are definitely brainstorming ideas of minimalistic Desi designs to share with our community of customers,” Shah said. “As we expand, we’ve had many people tell us how they appreciate the time and effort that we put into our products and our customizable options.”
Twinkles Candles Shop
To Ria Arora, a fourth-year social work student, making candles was nothing more than a hobby that she picked up during the pandemic. This all changed when her sister told her she should sell her candles.
“I didn’t think I could do it because starting a business seemed like so much. If it weren’t for my sister, I never would have started it,” Arora said.
Arora owns Twinkles Candle Shop, which is an online business that aims to provide ethical, sustainable and safer candle alternatives. In an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible, Arora started an initiative for her online business called The Recycling Program.
With this initiative, Arora would use an app called Bunz to connect with consumers. The customers then bring in their worn out candles and Arora recreates them into new candles.